Civil servants expected to claim pension for 29 years

Civil servants are expected to claim their pensions for two extra years, with the average 40-year-old male now expected to enjoy 29 years of retirement benefits when he reaches 60.

The Civil Superannuation Resource Accounts for 2007/8 reveal that male life expectancy has remained steady for women, but men in the pension scheme are now expected to spend a third of their life in their retirement.

Consultants Watson Wyatt said civil servants can also expect to receive more generous benefits than their private sector colleagues.

It places the value of civil service pension benefits earned in the year to March 2008 at £4.58billion – an average of around £8,000 for each of the 577,000 active members. Accounts for the teachers’ pension scheme, which were also presented to parliament last week, valued pension benefits earned in the year to March 2008 at £6.7billion – an average of around £10,000 per teacher.

John Ball, head of defined benefit consulting at Watson Wyatt, said: “With an increasing number of private sector employers warning that the economic downturn will cause them to cut back on their pension arrangements, this is something that most private sector employees can only dream of.”